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2019 Vian, Oklahoma Tornado
EF5 tornado
Alabama-tornado 1882201c

The record EF5 near Vian.
Date May 15, 2019
Times 1704-2255
Touchdown location 5:04 PM CDT
Highest winds

351 mph (recorded) (fifth highest recorded or estimated wind speeds ever)

Injuries 4,223
Fatalities 175
Damage $24.96 billion (2019 USD)
Areas affected Central Oklahoma
Part of the
Tornadoes of 2019 (Hitman)
Tornado Outbreak of May 13-17, 2019
The 2019 Vian, Oklahoma Tornado was a deadly, violent, catastrophic and record EF5-rated tornado that struck Central Oklahoma in the evening to night of May 15, 2019. 175 people died, along with 4,223 injuries and a thirdly record of $24.96 billion (2019 USD).

Setting many records including the longest duration and track, the tornado is noted as one of the most violent tornadoes ever. Tracking over 320 miles, the tornado was able to stay on the ground for so long because of a strong jet stream.

The EF5 was apart of a outbreak from the 13th to the 17th, causing other long-tracked and violent tornadoes. Scientists, who studied the event, concluded that due to the strong jet stream and multiple weak tornadoes along the path of the storm caused the tornado to stay on the ground for 5 hours and 51 minutes.

The EF5 started near Short. After undergoing intense intensification, the EF5 absolutely destroyed hundreds of homes, businesses, churches, mosques, buildings, factories, and even car dealerships.

Scientists believe the reason why the Vian EF5 had very fast wind speeds and lasted for so long was because the jet stream that positioned itself over Oklahoma had wind speeds up to 450 mph (724 km/h).

The Vian EF5 set many tornado records: from the longest track to the longest duration, the Vian EF5 has baffled scientists ever since the massive EF5 tore a 337 mile path across Oklahoma in nearly 6 hours. The track and duration beat out the well-known Tri-State Tornado, which on March 18, 1925, tore a 219-mile path for over 3 and a half hours.

Confirmed
Total
Confirmed
EF0
Confirmed
EF1
Confirmed
EF2
Confirmed
EF3
Confirmed
EF4
Confirmed
EF5
70 24 21 12 8 4 1



Synopsis

May 15, 2018 Tornado Outbreak Outlook (Hitman)

Tornado convective outlook for May 15, 2019.

On May 15, a 20% chance for large, violent tornadoes was evident after a deep low surface with low pressure and a strong jet stream positioned over Central Oklahoma formed a supercell. By 11:30 AM CDT, a confirmed 17 tornadoes touched down in the state, causing minimal damage.

With scattered thunderstorms and straight-line winds up to 100 mph, a tornado warning was issued for the counties of Sequoyah, Haskell, Le Flore, Adair, Cherokee, and Muskogee.

The National Weather Service (NWS), confirmed a few weak tornadoes just east of Vian.

Events

Touchdown

After multiple funnel clouds being visible, a funnel cloud touched down 0.7 miles east of Short. After downing a few trees at EF0 strength, the tornado slowly intensified. Hitting Marble City, low-end EF1 damage occurred to a house as the roof was severely stripped. Intensifying into a high-end low-end EF1, another 16 homes sustained major roof damage near the town of Sallisaw.

Vian EF5 EF1 damage

EF1 damage to a home in Sallisaw.

Even more EF1 damage was done along I-40 as hundreds of trees were downed and a few more homes sustained minor roof damage. Crossing the road, the EF1 briefly became a waterspout after moving onto the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir.

Moving back towards I-40, high-end EF1 damage was sustained to a mobile home, critically injuring a 93 year-old woman. With winds sustained at 110 mph, a dozen more shallow-rooted trees were pushed over before the tornado underwent rapid intensification.

Rapid Intensification

At 5:21 PM CDT after being on the ground for 17 minutes, the EF1 underwent insane rapid intensification, becoming a violent EF4 by 5:35 PM CDT. Impacting the town of McKey, high-end EF4 damage occurred to dozens of homes, inflicting 7 fatalities and 45 injuries.

Bennington KS tornado 05-28-13

The EF5 near Vian.

Heading straight for the town of Vian, a tornado emergency was declared for the entire county of Sequoyah after multiple doppler radar trucks recorded wind speeds over 320 mph (514 km/h). EF5 damage occurred 2 miles outside of Vian where multiple well-built homes near I-40 were completely swept away, where another 4 fatalities occurred and 16 injuries.

Reaching wind speeds of over 340 mph (547 km/h), another 26 people were killed after a neighborhood in Vian was demolished, causing another 49 injuries.

Central Oklahoma

Aerial view of 2013 Moore tornado damage

Catastrophic damage to a neighborhood near Vian.

Intensifying even further, the monster impacted the town of Gore, causing even more EF5 damage in the area and causing 2 deaths and 65 injuries. Causing even more damage, the tornado slightly weakened to 325 mph winds before regaining the strength and impacting the town of Martin.

After causing another 17 deaths were confirmed and 72 injuries after the EF5 hit the center of the town, the tornado reached peak strength between Okataha and Wainwright.

Impacting the town of Eram, 6 deaths and 4 injuries occurred at a Subway and the tornado picked up in forward speed. Being clocked at 91 mph (146 km/h), the EF5 had the 3rd fastest forward speeds by a violent tornado, behind the EF5's that hit Tushka, Oklahoma and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma on July 18, 2018 with forward speeds of 99 mph (159 km/h) and 96 mph (154 km/h), respectively.

Continuing to track at EF5 intensity, a line of well-built, refurbished vacant brick homes were completely swept away with dozens of trees being denuded near Morris. Continuing to track in Muskogee County, ground scouring with a depth of up to 36 inches occurred. The city of Okmulgee took a direct hit, killing 10 and injuring 641. Either most or all homes in and around Okmulgee were destroyed. Damage in this area reached $150 million. Barely dodging the town of Nuyaka, hundreds of trees were debarked and denuded and a 51 year-old man was severely injured by a sharp piece of wood. The towns of Etna and Slick were barely missed by the EF5.

The tornado struck the edges of the towns of Milfay and Stroud. Luckily, no one was killed, but 48 were injured, 12 critically. Crossing I-44, the tornado barely missed cars but stripping the asphalt and digging another 31 inches into the ground. The town of Kendrick was barely missed by the EF5. Still keeping it's strength, the EF5 then continued to cause havoc, stripping asphalt from the road, denuding trees, and digging 30 inch trenches into the ground.

Crossing I-44 again, the tornado passed in between city of Chandler and the town of Warwick. After tracking for over 20 miles of mostly trees and open land, the EF5, which lost a little strength, hit the north side of the town of Jones, where 1 person was killed, along with 63 injuries and the deepest hole made from the tornado occurred. The hole was measured at 41 inches. Researchers believe this is where the EF5 truly hit peak strength.

Alabama-tornado 1882201c

The monster EF5 hitting the north side of Lake Aluma near I-35.

Many homes were swept away, killing 9 and injuring 12. The EF5 could be seen from Downtown Oklahoma City. The massive EF5 crossed both the I-44 and U.S. Route 77, causing severe road damage.

Severe damage was done to dozens of buildings, killing 73 and injuring 3,206. $19 billion alone was done in Downtown Oklahoma City. Passing just north of Okarche in Canadian County, the EF5 killed 2 on multiple farms, completely sweeping away the farms, tossing farm vehicles over 2,000 yards and stripping roads of asphalt.

Western Oklahoma

Passing a mile south of Kingfisher, vegetation was completely wiped off and the ground was severely scoured, along with the asphalt of roads being ripped off the ground. Passing in between Hitchcock and Loyal, the EF5 finally began to weaken. Going from 335 mph winds to 230 mph winds, ground scouring wasn't as severe and the road stripping was also not as severe. Oakwood was missed to the south by less than 2 miles.

Weakening to a high-end EF4, 12 were killed in the town of Camargo. Ground scouring occurred and trees were debarked and denuded at high-end EF3 strength near the town of Fargo. The final 6 were killed in northern Woodward. At 10:55 PM CDT after being on the ground for almost 6 hours, the monster EF5 finally lifted north of Woodward.

Aftermath

The next day on Thursday, May 16, 2019, Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt declared a state of emergency and asked U.S. President Donald J. Trump to sign a federal emergency declaration. On the same day, Trump signed it, granting Oklahoma federal aid.

In all, 175 people were killed, 4,223 more were injured, and $24.96 billion (2019 USD) in damages, which is the third most in US history. It took Oklahoma almost 9 months to fully recover from the effects of this massive tornado.

The day after the tornado, the NWS sent dozens of survey teams due to how long the path was. In all, the tornado tracked a record 327.37 miles and was up to 2.4 miles wide.

Hitman's Notable Tornadoes 1
2016 Sherman, Texas Tornado2017 Mount Dora, Florida Tornado2017 Clermont, Florida Tornado2017 Bradenton, Florida Tornado2017 Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Washington, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Tescott, Kansas Tornado2018 Clermont-Groveland-Four Corners, Florida Tornado2018 Jarrell, Texas Tornado2018 Houston-Pasadena, Texas Tornado2018 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Red Rock, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Vilonia, Arkansas Tornado2018 Smithville, Mississippi Tornado2018 Woodward, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Antlers, Oklahoma Tornado2018 New Cordell, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Oleta, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Tushka, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Keyes, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Prague, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Bixby, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Webster, South Dakota Tornado2018 Wilco-Dimmitt, Texas Tornado2019 Prescott, Arkansas tornado2019 Chesterfield, Missouri Tornado2019 Harper, Kansas Tornado2019 Sand Springs, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Spiro, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Vinita, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Salt Lake City, Utah Tornado2019 Sterling, Kansas Tornado2019 Vian, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Parshall, North Dakota Tornado2019 Bridge Creek-Moore, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Phil Campbell, Alabama Tornado2020 Ider, Alabama Tornado2020 Philadelphia, Mississippi Tornado2020 Double Springs, Alabama Tornado2020 Athens, Mississippi Tornado2020 Vernon, Alabama Tornado2020 Steens, Mississippi Tornado2020 Capitol, Montana Tornado2020 Washington D.C. Tornado2021 Piedmont - Guthrie, Oklahoma Tornado2021 Piedmont, Oklahoma tornado2021 Gladstone, New Mexico Tornado2023 Chandler, Minnesota Tornado2025 Harrisburg-Reading-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Tornado2026 Eastport, Maine Tornado2027 Tuscaloosa, Alabama Tornado2028 Wray, Colorado tornado2028 Lone Grove, Oklahoma Tornado2028 Mulhall, Oklahoma Tornado
Notable EF5 Tornadoes 1
2017 Mount Dora, Florida Tornado2017 Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Washington, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Tescott, Kansas Tornado2018 Clermont-Groveland-Four Corners, Florida Tornado2018 Jarrell, Texas Tornado2018 Houston-Pasadena, Texas Tornado2018 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Red Rock, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Vilonia, Arkansas Tornado2018 Smithville, Mississippi Tornado2018 Woodward, Oklahoma Tornado2018 New Cordell, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Oleta, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Tushka, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Keyes, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Prague, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Bixby, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Webster, South Dakota Tornado2019 Sand Springs, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Spiro, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Vinita, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Vian, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Parshall, North Dakota Tornado2019 Bridge Creek-Moore, Oklahoma Tornado2021 Piedmont - Guthrie, Oklahoma Tornado2023 Chandler, Minnesota Tornado2025 Harrisburg-Reading-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Tornado2025 Waurika-Addington, Oklahoma Tornado2028 Wray, Colorado tornado2028 Lone Grove, Oklahoma Tornado2028 Wynnewood, Oklahoma Tornado2028 Mulhall, Oklahoma Tornado2265 Minneola- Clermont- Four Corners, Florida Tornado
All Hitman's EF5 Tornadoes
2016 Sherman, Texas Tornado2017 Mount Dora, Florida Tornado2017 Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Washington, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Tescott, Kansas Tornado2018 Moore, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Clermont-Groveland-Four Corners, Florida Tornado2018 Chapman, Kansas Tornado2018 Jarrell, Texas Tornado2018 Houston-Pasadena, Texas Tornado2018 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Andover, Kansas Tornado2018 Xenia, Ohio Tornado2018 Red Rock, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Denton, Texas Tornado2018 Vilonia, Arkansas Tornado2018 Hackleburg, Alabama Tornado2018 Ponca City, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Freeport, Kansas Tornado2018 Fort Rice, North Dakota Tornadoes2018 Woodward, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Kiowa, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Big Spring, Texas Tornado2018 Rocksprings, Texas Tornado2018 Oberlin, Kansas Tornado2018 New Cordell, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Oleta, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Attica, Kansas Tornado2018 Tushka, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Keyes, Oklahoma Tornado2018 Prague, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Cotter, Arkansas Tornado2019 Sand Springs, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Spiro, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Vinita, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Vian, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Parshall, North Dakota Tornado2019 Bridge Creek-Moore, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Auburn-Enterprise-Dothan, Alabama Tornado2020 Scottsboro, Alabama Tornado2020 Phil Campbell, Alabama Tornado2020 Double Springs, Alabama Tornado2020 Ider, Alabama Tornado2020 Philadelphia, Mississippi Tornado2020 Muncie, Indiana Tornado2020 Kingfisher County, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Joplin, Missouri Tornado2020 Snyder, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Goldsby, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Mangum, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Perry-Mulhall, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Greensburg, Kansas Tornado2020 Pampa, Texas Tornado2020 Tulsa, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Allison, Texas Tornado2020 Bridge Creek, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Chickasha, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Butler, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Davis, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Amber, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Wichita Falls, Texas Tornado2020 Dodge City, Kansas Tornado2020 Eustace, Texas Tornado2020 Liberal, Kansas Tornado2020 Silsbee, Texas Tornado2020 Elmer, Oklahoma Tornado2020 McPherson, Kansas tornado2020 Shawnee, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Loyal, Oklahoma Tornado2020 Katie, Oklahoma Tornado2021 Anadarko, Oklahoma Tornado2021 Piedmont - Guthrie, Oklahoma Tornado2021 Ashley-Walcott, North Dakota Tornado2022 El Dorado, Kansas Tornado2023 Chandler, Minnesota Tornado2025 Waurika-Addington, Oklahoma Tornado2025 Harrisburg-Reading-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Tornado2027 Tuscaloosa, Alabama Tornado2028 Mulhall, Oklahoma Tornado2028 Wray, Colorado tornado2028 Lone Grove, Oklahoma Tornado2028 Wynnewood, Oklahoma Tornado2037 Elgin, Oklahoma Tornado2265 Minneola- Clermont- Four Corners, Florida Tornado
Hitman's 2019 Tornadoes
2019 Coleridge, Nebraska Tornado2019 Prescott, Arkansas tornado2019 Cotter, Arkansas Tornado2019 Chesterfield, Missouri Tornado2019 Goddard, Kansas Tornado2019 Harper, Kansas Tornado2019 Sand Springs, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Spiro, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Vinita, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Salt Lake City, Utah Tornado2019 Sterling, Kansas Tornado2019 Vian, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Hesston, Kansas Tornado2019 Lenexa, Kansas Tornado2019 Mulhall, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Parshall, North Dakota Tornado2019 Bridge Creek-Moore, Oklahoma Tornado
Hitman's 2019 EF5 Tornadoes
2019 Cotter, Arkansas Tornado2019 Sand Springs, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Spiro, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Vinita, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Vian, Oklahoma Tornado2019 Parshall, North Dakota Tornado2019 Bridge Creek-Moore, Oklahoma Tornado
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